Thursday, July 30, 2009

Standings Summary - Week 10

Powe Alley - Week 10

Top 5
  • No change in teams and their order remains intact
  • However, slowly but sure Windy City has fallen off their mid season pace of 118 wins and no longer have the best run differential in the game.
Gains and Losses
  • No team had a significant climb up the charts, but White Meadow Lake, Rusty Kuntz, Duke Street, and Warning Track each climbed 2 slots.
  • With a 4-11 week, Bucky Dent loses three slots and is likely out of the wild card race.
Speaking of which, with a month to play, the level of excitement with regard to the wildcard races has diminished. At the beginning of Week 10, nine teams had chances at reaching the playoffs, and the end of the week just six are remaining.

Bucky Dent, Rod Beck, and Warning Track went a combined 11-16 during the sim, while the teams they were chasing recorded 18 wins in 28 attempts.

Sim 10E Complete

The Great, the Good, and the Ugly - Week 10

Players of the Week - SIm 10

"Bucketfoot Al" Simmons is the Week 10 Batter of the Week. The Warning Track Power outfielder batted .489 with a 1.333 OPS, hitting 10 extra base hits - six doubles, two triples, and two round trippers.

For the second time since June, Jeff Zimmerman is awarded pitcher of the week honors. The soft tossing control freak of the DC Chips won 4 times and recorded 4 saves in 17 brilliant innings. He gave up 10 hits and 3 walks, maintaining a 1.06 ERA and 0.78 WHIP.

Players of the Month - August

Our August Batter of the Month is Barry Bonds, outfielder for Rusty Kuntz Traveling All-Stars. Bonds batted .375 / .490 / .738 in 23 games, with 5 doubles, 8 home runs, 20 Runs, and 17 RBI. He led all qualifying batters with a 1.228 OPS and 15.2 RC/27.

After securing Week 9 Pitcher of the week honors, Greg Maddux of Planet 10 comes back and wins Player of the Month. The righty won 4 of 5 starts, walking just 4 and striking out 22 in 39 2/3 innings pitched. Each of his 4 wins were of teh complete game variety, 2 of which were shutouts. His full line: 4-1, 1.82 ERA, 40 IP, 29 H, 4 BB, 22 K, 1.68 RCERA

Mathematical Eliminations

65-72 - Potomac Rage
61-77 - Willets Point Mechanics
57-77 - Otherton Fish Biscuits
41-94 - Wedge Tornado
41-94 - Downsouth Brews

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Charlie Hustles for the Cycle

Finally, after 5 months of play, we have our first hit Cycle of ATB XI. On September 1, Pete Rose of Warning Track Power, accomplished the feat in grand fashion, drilling a 2-run top of the 9th home run, completed the cycle.

Rose got the difficult one out of the way early, tripling in his first at bat during the second inning. After hitting a nubber for an out in the 4th, Rose later doubled in the 6th and singled in the 8th.

The 9th inning blast came with his team winning 5-3.

Rose has been a success in a part time role this season, batting .354 / .372 / .463 in 82 at bats.

Sim 10D Complete

Trade Deadline

Whoops! Never published a trade deadline. In my head I always had it as 8/31 but that does no good to anyone if I don't share.

Because of the mistake, feel free to trade through the end of Sim 10. Once this Sunday's games start - 8PM - the trade deadline has passed.

Also - no deadlines on FA pickups.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sim 10B Complete

Relooking at the ATB IX Draft

A few weeks ago, I ran a "draft analysis" piece. No time for commentary, but here is an updated file.

Well, some bullets anyway:
  • Worst 1st round pick continues to be Randy Johnson, though, he does have a 2.16 ERA with his new team.
  • The latest an elite player was taken? Rd 5, Doc Gooden from Rod Beck
  • Worst pick of the draft might be Ron Guidry - a 3rd rounder taken by Edinburgh who still has a 5.63 ERA.
  • Maybe it is Whitey Ford though - he's a second rounder with a 5.23 ERA but has done less damage because he's pitched a few less innings.
Great late finds:
  • Rd 26, Charlie Ferguson (WMB) - 3.27 ERA, 104 IP
  • Rd 22, Kevin Millwood (WMB) - 3.18 ERA, 123 IP
  • Rd 20, Derek Lilliquist (WPP) - 1.21 ERA, 75 IP
  • Rd 19, Mike Jackson (OPR) - 1.87 ERA, 63 IP
  • Rd 18, Frank Killen (OFB) - 2.00 ERA, 121 IP
  • Rd 11, Steve Evans (WPP) - .973 OPS, 404 AB

What a Rally

9 runs in the ninth, capped by a walk off grand slam set up by two intentional walks.

A Shout Out To Rob Murphy

Each Week, Rob Murphy (BFF) narrowly misses the cut from showing up on the Great, The Good, and The Ugly reporting. Rightly or wrongly, each week, I pick out 4 starters, 2 closers, and the next best pitcher unlisted.

As a result, Murphy is routinely compared to Derek Lilliquist (WPP) and comes up a bit short in my mind. Lilliquist is on my team of course, so in fairness I feel it my responsibility (multiple emails from Brad have NO bearing on this post of course) to list the two side by side in case I am the fool, and Murphy is indeed being slighted. Here are their stats:

Looking at them, I think it always came down to the fact Murphy has the same number of walks and K's, though, Lilliquist's K/BB ration is not exactly stellar.

Lucky Devils

Pythagorean Records vs Real Life:

  • Fairly calm in Harry Caray - Only Planet 10 has been so unlucky as to have it impact the Playoff Picture. They are playing 10 games worse than thier Pythagorean record, enough to bump them into 5th place.
  • Elsewhere in the HC League: Windy City and HEYHOWARYA are both playing 4 games better than expected.
  • Vin Scully is a different story. Helena is a 2nd place team whose run differential is more like a 6th place team, and Warning Track Power is 6th place team that is playing more like an 11th place team.
  • Meanwhile, Chi-Town has been terribly unlucky, floundering in 10th place despite an RD more like a 5th place team.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Vin Scully Week 10 Schedule

Didn't want to leave our Vin Scully Wild Card hopefuls out. Here is a chart showing their schedules for Sim 10.

Rusty Kuntz and Rochester appear to be in the best positions to play spoiler, but if Rochester isn't careful, they could still very easily lose their #1 Wild Card Raking - they paly 8 of the 12 games against contenders.

Challenge Week in Harry Caray

Its a challenge week for the Wild Card hopefuls in the Harry Caray league. The Edinburgh Caber Tossers open Sim 10 with a 2.5 game lead over Planet 10, and in an interesting quirk of the scheduling, their opponents are almost identical during this week of play, making it a Challenge Week.

Here's what's on their schedules:

Both teams have dispatched the Rabble, Redlegs, Kins, and Tornado fairly easily, compiling a combined 55-33 record against them. The interesting match-ups appear to be against the Mechanics, Edinburgh has a 5-1 record versus a measly 4-5 for Planet 10. Conversely, Edinburgh has struggled against the mighty Franchise (4-8) while Planet 10 has held their own (3-3).

The Great, the Good, and the Ugly - Week 9

Players of the Week - Week 9

Greg "Mad Dog" Maddux has gone rather unnoticed this season, performing in the Shadows of perennial stalwart Pedro Martinez and surprising performances from Jesse Tannehill and Lefty Grove. It is not that Maddux isn't as good or better than these others, he's just done exactly what has been expected of him without any fanfare. His line for the year: 9 Wins, 2.40 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 16 BB, 78K. And in Week 9, no one was better: 2 Wins, 1.66 ERA, 22 IP, 14 H, 0 BB, 16 K, 0.99 ERA. Planet 10 needs Maddux more than ever now - they begin play in Week 10 2.5 games out of the Wild Card Race.

Rogers Hornsby, the second bagger for Bucky Dents Middle Name, is named batter of the week for the second time this season. In week 9 he batted .403 / .439 / .774 with a 1.275 OPS and 21.7 Runs Created. His counting stats were solid too - 4 HR, 12 R, and 13 RBI.

Standings Review - Week 9

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Auto Pager (Non ATB Post)

Just had to share, this is a life changer for heavy internet users that utilize Firefox. Try Auto Pager - you know when you are reading blogs or articles, and the stupid site makes you click Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, etc. at the end of a few paragraphs? When you scroll down to the end of a page, Auto pager automatically loads the next page's content on your current screen, right where you left off.


Works on this blog too. Give it whirl if you use Firefox. And if you use IE - well, this is a great reason to switch.

Sim 9E Complete

Power Alley - Week 9

Top 5
No Changes to the teams within the Top 5, though John McDonald Fanclub passes up the La Chapelle-aux-Saints into 3rd place. Fanclub had a very good week, winning 9 of 13, while La Chapelle played .500 ball.

Notable Changes
  • Bucky Dents Middle Name drops two slots, and now finds themselves outside the Top-10. They went 5-8. They are now 7-11 in August and slowly dropping out of the Wild Card race.
  • In the "Take What You Can Get" category, HEY HOWARYA climbs two slots thanks to a 5-6 week. They climbed as much for their (all things relative) success as for the combined record of 7-20 of the two teams they passed.

Starter and Reliever ERA's By Team

Standings from July 1st through Sim 9

Wild Card Standings Charts

How a Hit Streak Saves a Season

July's Batter of the Month, Willie Stargell (RKA), was batting .236 / .289 / .452 at the end of lay on July 2nd. His next game on the 4th commenced a 29 game hitting streak, the longest to date in ATB. During the next 40 calendar days the right fielder/designated hitter batted .410 with 15 2B, 10 HR, and 37 RBI.

At the end of the hit streak he was counted among the better players in the league, batting .289 / .349 / .563 and more than saved his season.

Also note after going hitless on the 14th of August, he recorded hits in his next for games as well, giving him a streak of recording hits in 33 of his last 34 games

July Players of the Month

In a landslide, Willie Stargell of the Rusty Kuntz Traveling All Stars is named the July ATB Batter of the Month. Among qualifying batters, Stargell nearly doubled the 2nd best RC/27 score - 25.0 to 14.1. The rest of line speaks to why: .433 / .506 / 1.000, 1.506 OPS, 9 2B, 9 HR, 19 R, 30 RBI.

A reliever? You bet. Bellevue Freakin Franchise's lefty long reliever was unhittable in July, yielding just 14 hits in 26 innings pitch. His ERA was a minuscule 0.69. He also had a 1.34 RCERA and held opposing batters to a .425 OPS.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sim 9D Complete

The Most Balanced Lineup in the Game - John McDonald

Received this interesting note from Jason B, owner and operator of John McDonald Fanclub: Too good of a question to pass up, even though there’s little doubt I am will butcher the reasoning in my response:

I have a possible idea for a post. My roster does not seem to be very well represented among the league leaders (both hitting and pitching), but I have a hunch that my success this season is because of my team's even production throughout the lineup. Is there some way you can examine this?

Good one there Jason, and thanks in advance the the 3 hours lost work time today.

First, lets check the main assumption that his team isn’t “well represented" among the leader boards. I took a look a the Top leaders in the main offensive categories – Batting Average, On Base Percentage, Slugging Percentage, Runs, Doubles, Extra Base Hits, Stolen Bases, RC/27, RBI, HR, Triples, and Runs Created. That works out to 120 possible players. Of these 120, Fanclub has five Top 10 leaders.

This is certainly a small amount – less than 5% - but not so far out of line with many other teams:


However, among teams with at least a .500 record, Fanclub ranks just 10th out of 12 teams and that’s the crux of it all. Fanclub has the 3rd best winning percentage in the game and has the most runs scored of any team, yet only rank 10th in the number of Top-10 leader board categories. Jason is likely on to something.

Another check we can do is to review the raw number of players per team that have a Top-10 appearance. For instance, Tip O’Neil appears 9 times and Babe Ruth 8 times and I am not convinced we shouldn’t take this into consideration. In this view, Fanclub ranks 3rd overall with 4 players appearing somewhere in the Top-10 in any category, with only the Beau Brummell’s and Duke Street Kings ahead of them with 5 players each.

Fanclub’s four are Honus Wagner (Runs), Andy Van Slyke (Triples), Willie McCovey (RBI, XBH), and Dick Allen (RBI).

Now that we’ve established there is a great deal of truth to the premise, we can analyze the overall stability of the Fanclub lineup versus the rest of the league. Frankly, this is where my math skills struggle a bit, but I think they are sufficient enough for this exercise.

I didn’t have the time to look across both leagues, so I narrowed my selections to Vin Scully teams with average OPS scores over .700:

0.775-Beau Brummell’s
0.734-Middle Name
0.729-Black Stones

We don’t want to take into consideration poor or even average offensive squads because it defeats the purpose of the study – why a team with little star power is scoring so many runs.

First, let’s review the median value. The median gives us a number to separate the higher half of a sample from the lower half. In theory, the higher the median in this case the more spread out the quality of the lineup is.

0.755-Beau Brummell’s
0.724-Middle Name
0.704-Black Stones

Fanclub easily outpaces the other teams. Let’s compare them to the last team on the list for illustrative purposes:


The first row contains the average team OPS scores, and the values below the team acronym are the compiled stats of each slot in the lineup. As can clearly be seen, JMF is in fact more balanced – more balanced the lower tier offensive team White Meadow Lake and more balanced than a team with a similar average OPS – Rochester.

Another way to attack the problem is through standard deviation, which measures the variability or dispersion in sample. In our case, the standard deviation of lineup OPS scores:

0.083-Black Stones
0.117-Middle Name
0.137-Beau Brummell’s

Here, Fanclub scores very well again as their SD is 2nd “best” among our higher scoring offenses. Even among poor scoring teams, where the Standard Deviation is expected to be low because it’s a lineup of low performers, Fanclub scores rather well:

0.063-Black Sox
0.083-Black Stones
0.088-Fish Biscuits
0.091-Rod Beck
0.117-Middle Name
0.137-Beau Brummell’s

It’s clear to these eyes that John McDonald certainly has an uncommonly balanced lineup and it is a direct cause for how good of an offensive team they actually are. Here are there stats by lineup slot:

Mail Chimp Fired

Ugh, they are out to get me.

I canceled the mail chimp account - if you still want daily emails, and you were previously receiving the prettily formatted mail chimp distribution (the one with the mitt and glove graphic), please enter your email address at the bottom right hand portion of the blog and you will be signed up for the Feedburner mail service.

Sorry for the confusion!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Predicting the Future Based Upon Strength of Schedule

Late in each ATB Season I try and break out the calculator and make some educated predictions about the balance of the season in hopes of finding the favorites for the Divisional and Wild Card Races. This year, the closest divisional race comes courtesy of the It Gets Thru Buckner division, but here the White Meadow Lake Black Stones trail the Helena Handbasket's by 6.5 games. The race is certainly not over, but by no means seriously in doubt.

The other Division races are even less exciting with John McDonald leading Behind the Bag by 9, the Windy City Potato Pocketers winning by 10.5, and the Belleveu Freakin Franchise by an almost unbelievable 19 games.

Our focus today will be on the Wild Card races. But first, a few notes on how I went about the calculation - ATB regulars can skip the next two paragraphs as nothing written hasn't been said at least twice already throughout our previous campaigns.

Bill James once derived a formula to predict the outcome of a game between two teams, based solely on their winning percentage. I took this a bit further, incorrectly in all honesty, and applied it to winning percentages of a team versus the collective winning percentages of all opponents left on the schedule. Even further, I use Pythagorean Winning Percentage instead of straight winning percentage.

Step through the charts below in a left to right fashion:
  • Teams Actual Record
  • Pythagorean Winning Percentage of that Team to Date
  • Remaining Opponents Pythagorean Winning Percentage
  • Expected Outcome of those games expressed in winning percentage terms. For instance, JMF is playing .640 ball, has to face teams with a collective .485 Wpct the rest of the way, and we should therefore expect them to win .654 % of their contests.
  • Quick and Dirty Home/Away modifier, meant to adjust the Wpct up or down based upon the number of Home/Away games.
  • Games Left
  • Projected W-L record of those remaining Games
  • Projected Win Total
  • Projected Games Back

Vin Scully League

Today, 10 of the 12 teams in this league have a legitimate shot at contending for a playoff spot. In terms of the Wild Card, the 10th team is just 5.5 games out of the last slot and 6 teams are within 3 games.

Strength of schedule shows this isn't going to last:
  • The top teams remain where they stand with John McDonald and Helena winning their divisions by 7 and 5 games respectively.
  • The Rochester Beau Brummels project to finish as the second best team in the league, a full 9 games up in the Wild Card
  • If play ended today, the Black Stones would narrowly edge the DC Chips for the last playoff spot thanks to a .522 vs .521 winning percentage. However, the Home/Away schedule for DC gives them the edge closing out the year. Both teams have nearly identical expected winning percentages but DC has 27 home and 18 road games remaining, while White Meadow Lake has 23 home and 26 road. This difference results in a predicted 2 game advantage for the reigning champs. These two teams still have 4 head to head games remaining with the Black Stones winning 5 of 8 so far this year.
  • Bucky Dent's Middle Name, currently a half game back of White Meadow Lake, looks to be in the thick of the race as well, projecting to fall short by just two games. With an expected winning percentage of .510 but more road games than home games, they look to finish the season with a run of .500 ball.
  • The rest of the teams all fall of the pace quickly. The Chi Town Black Sox have lost 8 in a row and project to play about .500 rest of the way, and with their current record 6 games under .500 they'll likely fall short of contention.
  • Rusty Kuntz Traveling All Stars have played well of late, but face teams with a collective .511 winning percentage.
  • I Miss Rod Beck will have a tough go of it as well. They are currently being outscored by 17 runs and are expected to win 21 of their last 45 games, coming up 6 games short.

Harry Caray League

I won't spend much time on the less exciting Vin Scully League. Three teams project to easily outpace the pack, with the only playoff spot in doubt coming down to the last Wild Card team. The Edinburgh Caber Tossers have a much easier strength of schedule when compared with Planet 10: .486 vs .536. And while Planet 10 has a better run differential, they still project to lose one game on Edignburgh, finishing 2 out. Both teams have 26 home and 19 road games left.

If interested, here is the team by team look at the remaining schedule.

Sim 9C Complete

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hiccup with the File Posting

All solved, hadn't realized in crapped out on me. Box scores and stats updated as of 9B.

Don't Forget the Special Events Log!

If you aren't checking this file weekly, you're missing a lot!

Two recent gems:
- Beau Brummel pitchers walk 20 batters in a single game
- Willie Stargell shows the rest of the league what a REAL hitting streak looks like.

Sim 9B Complete

The Great, the Good, and the Ugly - Week 8

Week 8 Players of the Week

With a Ruth-esque batting line of .488 / .571 / 1.171, 1.742 OPS, Willie Stargell of Rusty Kuntz is the ATB Week 8 Batter of the Week. He also hit 6 HR with 15 Runs, 17 RBI, and 31.2 Runs Created.

For the second time this year, Warning Track Power's Pedro Martinez is the ATB Player of the week. In Week 8, Pedro struck out 30 and walked 3 in 25 innings, holding opponents back with a 1.44 ERA and 1.25 RCERA. He went 2-1 in three starts.

Power Alley - Week 8

Here comes White Meadow Lake and Rusty Kuntz!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Standings Summary - Week 8

Pay particular attention to the Wild Car Race over in Vin Scully.

Sim 9A Complete

Back in town, will have some kind of Week 8 Update today and tomorrow.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sim 8E Complete

The Kid is Hot

Ken Griffey Jr. has homered in 7 of the past 11 games that he played. He's in a 75/25 platoon with Earle Combs. Maybe that needs to change?
7/21: 2 HR
7/22: 1 HR
7/23: 1 HR
7/24-7/25: Combs played
7/26: 1 HR
7/27: Combs played
7/28, 7/29, 7/30: 0 HR
8/1: 1 HR
8/2: 1 HR
8/4: 1 HR

(Courtesy of Matt B, owner and operator of the Willets Point "Mechanics")

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sim 8E To Be Run Early

Going away for a few days, so need to get Sim 8E in tomorrow AM. Please have any lineup changes by 10 AM instead of 12 noon.

Sim 8D Complete

Sim 8C Complete

Sorry for delay. Took in a non-simulated baseball game with the Caber Tosser owner...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Change of Scenery Key For Thome

In a risky acquisition, last week the La Chapelle-aux-Saints Neanderthals attained the services of Jim Thome. Having a dreadful year (.207 / .297 / .393) the first basemen has already left his mark in La Chappelle. After going hitless in his first three games in his new uniform, Thome has blasted 5 home runs in his last three and is now batting .333 / .391 / 1.048, with a 1.439 OPS for the Neanderthals.